Posts Tagged ‘feature’

Premature Evaluation: SpyParty

SpyParty

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s pretending to be an NPC, badly, in the asymmetric game of spies and snipers, SpyParty. How do you get blood out of a tux?

Nerves already shot, I extract myself from the conversation I’m using as cover and head towards the golden statue, my prize. This plush apartment houses more than a few pieces of art I can pinch, but this one is out of the way, somewhere I’m pretty sure nobody will be looking. I empty my brain and follow the path I’ve settled on in my head. I’m following a script with the single-mindedness of a machine. Or, more accurately, a SpyParty NPC.

I’m almost at my destination when a spanner is flung into the works in the form of a booze-swigging ambassador, sauntering over to the shiny eagle I intend to make away with. For a split second my brain fires up again. I’m not a machine; I’m a startled person who has to briefly recalculate, and that’s all it takes for the laser sight to swing over to me. Pop! My spy career is over.

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Chasing tanks in Close Combat: The Bloody First

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The development of Close Combat: The Bloody First has lasted for as long as the war it depicts, but four years after its original intended launch date, Matrix Games’ World War II RTS is due to storm the beaches soon. As well as being the first 3D game in the series, it’s the first that’s been built in publisher Slitherine’s Archon engine, but more interesting is the focus on individual soldiers instead of faceless platoons. I recently tried to get to know them during a brief, whirlwind tour of ‘40s France, Italy and Tunisia.

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Best monitor 2018: Top gaming monitors and buying guide

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Your monitor is one of the most important parts of your PC, so finding the best monitor to suit your needs and budget is vital. Trying to buy one in a shop, however, can be an absolute nightmare, as you’ll often find dozens of screens costing anything from £70 right up to £1500. The range of models and prices can be overwhelming, but this guide is here to help.

We’ll take you through everything you need to know about screen sizes, resolutions, refresh rates, panel types, inputs and adjustable stands, as well as provide a few recommendations of our own based on our own testing. By the time you’re done here, you’ll be fully equipped to find the best monitor for you. Let’s begin!

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Wot I Think: The Swords Of Ditto

The Swords Of Ditto has perhaps 378 good ideas in it. That’s over 80% more good ideas than most games. My problem on approaching this review is trying to work out whether I think a barrage of good ideas is necessarily a good overall game.

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Podcast: The weird, wild and wonderful of EGX Rezzed

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It’s a podcast special! Astrid Johnson takes us through the halls of London game show EGX Rezzed, on a search for oddities and weirdness. And she finds plenty of both. There’s Stereopolis, a game projected onto a disc of frosted glass, or Wobble Garden, which is played entirely by twanging a bunch of springy door stoppers (pictured above).

It’s an overview of the show for those who couldn’t make it this year. We also learn about the plane tinkering of Above, two-player sausage-dog cooperation in Phogs, and Disco Elysium, an isometric RPG featuring an alcoholic detective having an unconscious argument with his lizard brain. And then there’s the tale of Fernando’s chicken… Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: BattleTech

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I was perplexed to discover that my partner, also a home-worker, was wearing earplugs as she sat at her computer. There was, for once, none of the thunderous din of new kitchens or loft extensions being built in one of the adjacent terraced houses, and nor was my own PC’s volume set high as I threw stompy tankbots at each other in XCOM-meets-Mechwarrior turn-based strategy game/boardgame adaptation BattleTech. Stony-faced, she informed me that listening to me sporadically bellow “Oh god, it’s so boring” every few minutes is not terribly conducive to work. I didn’t even know I was doing it.

I don’t like calling things boring. It’s an aggressively dismissive criticism, and often says as much about the accuser as the accused. I’ve returned to BattleTech repeatedly, in different moods and with absolute determination to find the fun in a game made from components I usually thrill to, but I keep winding up in the same place: bored. And then hating myself for feeling that way.

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HP Omen X 17 review: A stylish gaming laptop with beefy innards

HP Omen X 17

HP have been making a bit of a comeback of late. Everywhere you look it’s Omen this and Omen X sponsored that, so I thought it was high time I saw what all the fuss was about. What I’ve got here is the Omen X 17, or the catchily named HP Omen X 17-ap003na to give it its full and proper title, which is the toppest of HP’s top-end gaming laptops.

There are many other Omen X 17 configurations available, including models with different processor and graphics card combinations, but inside the 17-ap003na you’ll find an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card, a quad-core Intel Core i7-7820HK processor, 16GB of RAM, a huge 17.3in, 1920×1080 IPS display with a 120Hz refresh rate and Nvidia G-Sync support, plus a 256GB NVMe SSD and 1TB HDD, making it one of the most potent portable(ish) gaming machines I’ve seen since the MSI GT75VR Titan Pro. Read the rest of this entry »

Swery on the cats and countryside of The Good Life

The Good Life

Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro, director of cult favourite Deadly Premonition, recently relaunched a crowdfunding campaign for his studio’s latest project, The Good Life. It’s a life sim murder mystery in a sleepy British village, where the inhabitants have a habit of turning into domestic animals. Once a month, everyone changes into a cat or dog, allowing you to roam the village at night and visit previously unreachable locations. This raises all sorts of questions, some of which I have put directly to Swery in an email interview. Come read what he has to say about life sims, Instagram, and rural towns, along with some advice for owners of bitey cats. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Frostpunk

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When I signed the law drafting children into my city’s workforce, I should have felt resistance. Some sense of remorse, or an impulse to explore other options—anything but this. Instead, I was simply surprised at just how many kids lived here.

Then I sent them to the coal mines. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam Charts: In MemoVRium Edition

With Steam’s big VR Spring Sale on, obviously the charts are a bit full of… ha ha ha, no of course not. No one wants VR. Same old same old. Read the rest of this entry »

The Sunday Papers

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Sundays are for apologising about the recent lack of Sunday Papers. Holidays and Rezzed are forces that cannot be defeated.

On The Verge, Laura Hudson argued that Ready Player One is emblematic (and part) of the problems that have lead to the “cyber dystopia” we currently inhabit. There were points in this where I made an involuntary “huh” noise as Hudson joined dots that I hadn’t quite connected before, creating a powerful challenge against privilege, careless nostalgia and the inherent value of connecting people to each other.

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Free games of the week

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Do you know how many different ways you can move a string and some pegs? Let me show you, because you will certainly find out if you play the next game listed. Bending a string around a bunch of pegs leaves so much open space to wrap your string around and so many pictures to create. If you aren’t interested in the simplicity of string based puzzles, you can attempt to connect planets together to trade, frantically try to clean your room before your mother comes home, take on a bunch of monsters by blowing them off your platform, and flee from a cat in a world of hazards. Check out this week’s free games and read on… Read the rest of this entry »

Samsung CHG90 review: We’re gonna need a bigger desk

Samsung CHG90

The Samsung CHG90, or the LC49HG90DMNXZA to give it its full and proper title, is by far the most ludicrous monitor I’ve ever seen. Measuring a whopping 49in across its fancy curved diagonal, this ultra-super-stupidly-wide 32:9, 3840×1080, 144Hz, HDR (let me catch my breath for a second) FreeSync 2 VA display is proper bonkers. And I sort of kind of love it. Read the rest of this entry »

Unknown Pleasures: About four to six great new Steam games

Going to big social things alone would have been unthinkable a year ago and is still pretty scary. Thanks for being so lovely, everyone.

It’s been a strange week here at the Pleasuredome. Once again, a bud of the Hivemind prepares to detach and spread in-jokes and sinister, fungaloid thoughts about user interfaces to a new, unsuspecting host. And I’d only just confirmed he’s real, too. Bye bye, Adam. Subvert from within, yeah?

Still, on the plus side, I high fived Aby Wolf the other night. And now it’s time for Unknown Pleasures! Heavens.

Shamelessly namedropping far more talented people we’ve briefly orbited this week: chasing rabbits, redirecting lasers, and justifying patricide.

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“Below our lowest expectations” – why EVE devs CCP pulled out of VR

Six months ago, EVE Online developer CCP Games pulled out of the virtual reality market. The move came as a shock, given how well-suited and devoted CCP seemed to be to the tech, with international studios in the US and UK working on VR titles, and a tech-savvy EVE player base who were more likely to adopt VR early in its development cycle. As recently as last year’s EVE Fanfest, CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson had been bullish about the technology and the company’s investment in its VR teams, so last week, at this year’s Fanfest, we asked him what had changed and what went wrong.

In short, hardly anyone was playing.

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The Flare Path: Asks Oskari

Crafted with care and marketed without hyperbole, Diesel Railcar Simulator is that rare thing, a transport sim that transports without crucifying your wallet, cooking your GPU, and burying you under an avalanche of key commands. A conglomeration of incredibly sensible design decisions, it’s been winning friends and gaining content steadily since appearing, seemingly from nowhere, late last summer. In today’s FP I talk to Oskari, the man behind all those sensible design decisions. Read the rest of this entry »

Best PC gaming deals of the week

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If you happen to be living in the UK right now, it’s more than likely that you are currently under the watchful gaze of the most oppressive sun we’ve seen all year. Whether you reckon that’s a good thing or a bad thing, we’ve got a brand new batch of video game related deals for you to check out this very week, while you either bask in, hide from or praise this brand new sun.

As usual, we’ve got deals that’ll work in the UK, deals that’ll work in the US and some deals that will work in both the UK and US, as well as presumably many other places. Let’s get started.

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Podcast: Being a critic makes games better (and worse)

This is how Adam will leave us next week. In a truck

Oh no. Somebody sound the “journalists discussing journalism” klaxon. Rattle it as loudly and furiously as possible, because the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, is talking about how being a critic changes the way we play. Don’t blame us, blame listener Aleksei, who sent in the theme as a suggestion. But please also forgive Adam, because it’s his last showing on the podcast (he’s leaving RPS next week) so he deserves a bit of self-indulgence. Read the rest of this entry »

The Joy of Telltale’s Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle

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As an actual adult human being who still reads DC comics, I have to put up with a lot of BatBullShit. It’s not the brooding that gets to me or even the weird and sudden flips between psychologically scarring street-level crimefighting and wacky Justice League space adventures. It’s not the callbacks to events from previous decades that I don’t care about or understand, and it’s not even the fact that the world’s greatest detective solves far too many problems by punching people until they stop moving.

It’s the romance that bothers me. The sexytimes. I really don’t care if Batman and Catwoman are making out on a rooftop, or tearing off each other’s costumes in Crime Alley or some other unfortunate locale. It’s not that I object to any of these mostly miserable characters having a bit of fun every once in a while, but just as in a computer game when two doll-like faces smash together and I’m supposed to pretend I’m witnessing a passionate and intimate moment, these caped and costumed comic characters don’t seem real enough for anything other than the kind of sex-free coupling that Ken and Barbie might engage in.

How remarkable, then, that Telltale’s Batman Series actually had my favourite romantic moment in any game I’ve played for a good while.

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No rest for the wicked: OZMAFIA!! review

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Join Ella McConnell for Waifu Material, a monthly column in which she navigates the murky, cherry-blossom-strewn waters of visual novels, dating sims, and everything in between (reader masochism not required but strongly recommended). [Content warning: discussion of yet more sketchy consent stuff.]

When I first got my hands on OZMAFIA!!, I was unconvinced it’d take me as long to finish as people suggested. Reviews on Steam said the main route alone could take 20 to 30 hours, with full completion clocking in at over 50 hours for some. I laughed. Clearly they were just slow, especially as the game has the visual novel staple skip button (which lets you speed through text you’ve already read and quickly reach the points where you make choices that cause the narrative to branch).

They were not slow.

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